Goldfish Shaped Dumplings




If you are lucky enough to visit Xian, China, you are likely headed there for the Terracotta Warriors.  However, not to be missed is the dumpling banquet!  I was able to enjoy such a banquet, filled with 18 different dumplings of different shapes, sizes and flavors.  Each dumpling is carefully hand-crafted to represent an animal or a food.  I was inspired by this banquet to make my own shaped dumplings.

Today I'm going to show you how to make your dumplings look like a beautiful celestial goldfish.  The celestial goldfish has bubble eyes that bulge out of its head.   This dumpling is not much more difficult to make than a regular dumpling but it will have a huge impact the next time you serve dinner!

Note: I added color and some additional tips thanks to an idea from Caitlin's Dad!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Ingredients

Gather your ingredients:
Won Ton Wrappers (I was pleased to find these at my local grocery store, purchase the square ones)
Filling (Today I used shrimp but you can use any ground meat)

Gather your tools:
Steamer (I have an electric one, but there are tons of types, bamboo, metal, even plastic microwaveable ones)
sharp knife
Food Safe Marker in orange

Step 2: Cut the Won Ton Wrapper

Make slits in the Won Ton Wrapper.

Cut just 5 slits on the back quarter of your wrapper.  These will create the fan tail.

Cut one slit in the center of the front quarter of the wrapper.  This will form the face and eyeballs.

Tip:  Once you are comfortable with this process, you can cut 5 at once.  Just make sure you have a dry and sharp knife.

Step 3: Add Filling and Wet Wrapper

Add a walnut sized amount of filling.  I used cooked shrimp because that's what I had on hand but you can certainly start with raw shrimp, ground pork, chicken etc.  Use your favorite type of filling.  I chose shrimp because I knew it would give the goldfish a bit of a pink color.

Fill a small dish with water and use your finger to wet the edge around the "body" of the goldfish.

Step 4: Fold Up the Body

Bring the two wet triangles up together, press with your fingers to seal, the top fin and the back of the body.

New tip added: Roll the top fin down one more time like folding a paper bag down, this will make a more stable seal.

Step 5: Create the Eyes

Using one finger on your non dominant hand, press up on the two center triangle flaps on the "face".

Using your dominant hand, drop in a green pea and then wrap that triangle around the pea.  Make sure to dab some water on there to get a good seal.

Step 6: Optional Step Add Color

Safely add color by using a food safe marker.  Do not use a regular marker on your food.  I was quite pleased to find that this color does not seem to run too badly when you steam the won tons.

Step 7: Cook the Dumplings

Place the dumplings in your steamer on top of parchment paper.  Be careful to not let any of the goldfish bodies touch any of the other bodies or they will stick together.  

One final step before you start to steam them, make sure to wet the tails or they will get kind of starchy looking, you want translucent, beautiful fan tails.

Finally, steam them for 12-15 minutes until they are translucent and thoroughly cooked.

Step 8: Take Out and Enjoy!

They're done!  Enjoy these on a plate with some soy sauce, or nestle them on top of a bed of ramen soup.  For a fun place setting, try folding up a napkin into a goldfish too!

Enjoy a taste of Xian!

Chinese Food Contest

Participated in the
Chinese Food Contest

Be the First to Share


    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest
    • Cookies Contest

      Cookies Contest
    • Reuse Contest

      Reuse Contest

    11 Discussions

    If I can get my hands on some wonton wrappers I will! I would like to try and make them with my sister's kids when they come over in the summer, I'm sure they'd love to make them....and eat the result! :)

    You can also make your own wrappers, they are very similar to italian pasta, since I know you have a pasta machine from your rainbow farfalle post, I bet you can make some that way, they just need to be on the thin side so they cook thoroughly and you don't have doughy noodles.

    I once made the dough for chinese dumplings, againg because I could not find any ready made, is it the same thing? Maybe thinner... I'll give it a go. Thanks for your tip, I'll use my pasta machine. :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! Where did you get those special markers? Make wide orange stripes with black outlines on plumper dumplings and you'll have Nemo for the Halloween entry. There's a blue fish too so stock up on a blue marker too. Get ready for the Fourth of July Goldfish eating competition...

    1 reply

    It's actually a set from Michael's, you can get all 5 in the cake decorating aisle. I think I have Blue, Orange and Black! Too funny because I was thinking next year or the year after I was going to do a Nemo themed birthday for my son and was thinking those goldfish would be fun to serve, but if they looked like Nemo and Dory that would be amazing :-D

    Thanks for helping me take my project to the next level!



    6 years ago on Introduction

    Adorable! I wonder if they would hold up if you let them "swim" around in a bowl of clear broth? Nice instructable.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I served mine in Ramen and actually ended up plunging them in the broth with my chopsticks since they kind of dried out a bit during the photography part. They are actually quite sturdy, I was afraid they'd be so fragile but they're about as strong as any other won ton so you can use your chopsticks to pick them up and they stay together, but obviously would not withstand being stabbed with a chop stick :)

    Please give it a try, these are really only a tiny bit more work than a regular won ton with much more impact :)